The Democratic Republic of Timor Leste and xpand Foundation will sign an MOU that was recently approved by the Council of Ministers. WithOneSeed co-founders Leopoldina Guterras and Andrew Mahar AM presented the WithOneSeed community forestry program to a Council of Ministers meeting chaired by H.E. Rui Maria de Araujo, Prime Minister of Timor-Leste. The presentation explained how WithOneSeed will replant the forests of Baguia for environmental sustainability; build local village economies through putting an earned dollar in the pockets of subsistence farmers; deliver practical, hands-on, education and training in agroforestry and permaculture and; create regional partnerships between Australia and Timor-Leste.
The prime purpose of the MOU is to address the issue of carbon rights. An imperative of being able to sell carbon sequestered by the trees planted through the WithOneSeed program we needed certainty about the ownership of the carbon. Currently in Timor-Leste there is no regulation or laws covering this issue. Hence the need for an MOU that will give certainty to potential carbon investors.
The MOU is a critical element of the Gold Standard certification which has also recently been completed. The WithOneSeed program will see over 520,000 tonnes of carbon reduced from the atmosphere over the next 25 years. This will generate over $5m into the Baguia and Timor-Leste economy.